Bags of blood plasma. Photo: Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty Images

Mexicans are regularly crossing the border on temporary visas to sell their blood plasma to pharmaceutical companies, ProPublica reports with ARD German TV.

The big picture: Donors can take home up to $400 a month if they donate twice a week, and then earn extra cash through incentives like recruiting friends or family. For some, it's their only income.

Between the lines: The U.S. has less stringent guidelines than other countries around blood plasma donations, allowing them to be done at a higher frequently.

  • Donating too often can hurt the donor's immune system, and the long-term consequences are unknown.
  • The U.S. is the largest global supplier of blood plasma, and 43 of the 805 U.S. donation centers are located along the southern border. Employees at some of the centers estimated that between 60% and 90% of their donors are Mexican citizens.

The legality of crossing the border for this reason — or of collecting plasma from the people who do — is unclear.

  • While U.S. immigration law doesn't allow temporary visas to be used for employment, the plasma companies say that their payments are "compensation," not wages.

Go deeper: The U.S. doesn't spend less on social care than other developed countries

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 30,782,337 — Total deaths: 957,037— Total recoveries: 21,032,539Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,764,962 — Total deaths: 199,258 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  5. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

The positions of key GOP senators on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee by next week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just over six weeks out from Election Day.

The big picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." But Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) told Alaska Public Media, "I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

ActBlue collects a record $91 million in hours after Ginsburg's death

A makeshift memorial in honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 19. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

ActBlue received a record $91.4 million in the 28 hours following Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, the Democratic donation-processing site confirmed to Axios late Saturday.

Why it matters via the New York Times: "The unprecedented outpouring shows the power of a looming Supreme Court confirmation fight to motivate Democratic donors."